Tag Archives: Republicans

What’s That Got to do With it, Jack?

I may not agree with Jack Driscoll on a lot of things, but I’ve spoken with him on a few issues, and he’s struck me as a pretty decent guy. He’s been fairly responsive to this blog, a statement that cannot be made for even a number of Democratic members of the Legislature.

Having said all that, now that the tax bills are in and folks are starting to realize that they either lost County school money for diddly in the way of tax breaks or even a loss, Republicans are starting to cover their bases and spin, spin, spin towards safety. Some municipalities are seeing County tax increases because of a redistribution of the costs of maintaining MCC, based on the number of people from each district attending that school. Jack gives us a mind-numbingly irrelevant comparison:

Homeowners Confused Over County Tax Bills – 13WHAM.com

The charge is part of a charge back for Monroe Community College, a way of dividing the costs of MCC based on how many students go there from the homeowner’s municipality.County Legislator, Jack Driscoll (R, Henrietta) said, “Some communities had a much higher percentage of their residents attending MCC than other communities.” Driscoll said it’s all part of the county executive’s F.A.I.R. plan, which kept services intact and erased a $50 million deficit.

Driscoll said his bill went up slightly too, but it paled in comparison to the price increases for gas or groceries.

OK, Jack. Should we now start blaming the Legislature for the rise in gas prices, or no?

FactCheck on the Presidential Debates

It’s always good to check in with FactCheck.org after any debate, since they generally do such a good job of cutting through the political crap that all sides and all candidates like to throw out there. Even better, sometimes they catch on to stuff you don’t even remember having been said.

To whit, check out this boner from Mitt Romney:

FactCheck.org: N.H. Debate: The GOP Field

Romney: And the reason health care isn’t working like a market right now is you have 47 million people that are saying, “I’m not going to play. I’m just going to get free care paid for by everybody else.” That doesn’t work.

OK, Mitt. Go ahead and call all 47 million uninsured Americans freeloads, and see how that does for your presidential aspirations. But, with both Democrats and Republicans debating the other night, it can be difficult to keep up with the B.S. To read more, check out the Democratic analysis here and the Republicans here.

Partisanship is Underrated. . .

Here is an interesting passage and quote from the WaPo discussing Barack Obama:

GOP Doubts, Fears ‘Post-Partisan’ Obama – washingtonpost.com

“Partisanship is underrated. There is a time and place for it, and more time and place than we realize,” he said.In Obama’s first years in the Senate, he showed little interest in the middle, where moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats coalesce, often to thwart their leadership.

Partisanship is underrated. So if you do right by a small percentage of Americans over the objections of everyone else, that’s much better than trying to move the country in a direction as a unit? The second sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you read it twice. What does he mean by “often to thwart their leadership?”

In any event, the words “bipartisan” and “centrist” do not mean the same things. “Centrist” is essentially wishy-washy triangulation, whereas “bipartisan” simply means two sides agreed on something. It’s certainly true that a “centrist” policy, being inherently limp-dicked, is likely to get “bipartisan” support, but that does not mean that a good politician cannot get support from both sides of the isle on a policy from one of the wings.

But there are people on both the Right and the Left who will not let the hyperpartisanship go.

Well, That’s F.A.I.Rly Lame, . . .

Oops. Remember all those savings that the F.A.I.R. plan was supposed to have made for county taxpayers? Well, maybe not so much:

How Much Savings with F.A.I.R. Plan? – 13WHAM.com

“The next line says last year I paid $530, this year I pay $626. Next line, I paid $432, that’s public safety; this year I pay $711. The bottom line, I paid a total of $1,943, this year I pay $1,920,” he said. That’s $23 in savings.

Now, keep in mind that the schools will be needing to recoup the loss of revenue from the F.A.I.R. plan. Folks take pride in their schools and expect them to perform well, so of course, they’ll pay the extra taxes to see that loss recovered. And of course, we’re still betting that sales taxes under perform state tax revenues in order for this to have been a good plan.

Bravo, Maggie. Bravo County Republicans.

Upsetting the Kingmakers

There are, of course, any number of different ways to analyze the Iowa results, most of them useless.  So, let me offer yet another useless bilge of thought. . .

One thing about Republican politics that differs from Democratic politics is the sort of Kingmaker role of the Washington big boys.  While I would never claim that Washington Democratic insiders have no bearing or influence on caucus/primary politics, in the Republican Party, there generally seems to be a consensus as to whom the nominee will be, often long before the primaries.  There seems to be some appetite among Republican voters, and definitely some conceit among Republican insiders, for a kind of coronation of the next candidate.  The Next Reagan.

And like Reagan, like George the Younger, they don’t have to be good or even smart.  They just have to be a figurehead behind whom Americans can rally.  They have to be symbols of something marketable, so as to allow the real leaders, the heads of the Republican Party think tanks, to get their game plans into place.

This year, with Republicans falling back in dismay on all fronts, Huckabee’s victory in Iowa is yet another kick in the teeth to most of the Republican leadership.  Republicans and many pundits will scoff that Huck won’t win in New Hampshire and that his candidacy ends there.  But the fact is, Huck has represented the first real spark of interest the electorate has had on the Republican side of the isle in this entire extended campaign season.  The last best thing was Derf Thompson, the Man Who Would Be Sleeping.

Huckabee will doubtless not win the N.H. primary, but if he places second or even arguably third, he stays relevant.  Meanwhile, his popularity has risen dramatically across the country, making it possible to carry some of the more Conservative, Evangelical Republican primaries . . . such as South Carolina.  The question for the Huckababies is: can he stay ahead of the bad press he’s getting, with all the foibles and follies of the last week?  Iowa certainly seems to suggest a “yes.”

And while nothing is certain or foreordained in this Republican primary season, what has guys like William the Bloody really upset is that the ordination may happen somewhere in Corn Country without them.

My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Of course, how trite of me to have a New Year’s Resolutions list, eh? But then, the start of a new year, like any mathematically or biologically significant milestone in the wheel of life, is a good time to reflect on what has been and what you hope should be. I’ve never ascribed to the concept of “resolutions,” in the sense of those silly promises you know you can’t keep. Rather, I prefer to take the opportunity to look out on the new cycle and set some long-term goals which have at least the appearance of achievability, and those whose aim it is to make me just a little bit better off than I was before.

And so, for the sake of both reflection and anticipation, I commit my most relevant political resolutions for the coming year:

1. I resolve to remind myself that “sovereignty” is not a word important only to the United States.

All too often in the discussion of the War on Terror, our entire dialogue happens in the absence of this very basic fact. I thought about this again while watching Pumpkin Head in the last Sunday morning of the Old Year, questioning politicians about the situation in Pakistan. I regret to say that Mike Huckabee did better with his answer than did Barack Obama. But both politicians and Tim Russert all seemed to forget that Pakistan, for all the aid we might have provided them, is still a sovereign nation. When Barack Obama says we need to “be sure” that elections in Pakistan are fair, well, the fact is that we don’t have the right to make that call. We tend to forget that while we get all wrapped up in our own problems.

Continue reading My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Here Come the Republicans

Just decided to make myself a mix CD that included Ozzy and Primus. A small window into my mentality, that. Anyway, I just noticed that Here Come the Bastards is, in fact, a remarkable prediction of the 2008 Republican National Convention:

The Lyrics (for those of you who don’t know)

Here they come
Here come the bastards
I heard it from a confidant –
Who heard it form a confidant
Theyre definitely on their way
Theres one with this idea
Something about a hammer head shark
Nosehairs and flatus
Best keep your distance because

Here they come
Here come the bastards
Bury your head deep in the sand
Anonymity is a virtue in this day and age
Amazing hand dexterity
Flagrant misuse of security
Better run, run, run, run, run
Run run run run, here they come.

The D&C Ed Board on the Monroe County Fire Sale

Come ‘n get ’em, folks! They’re almost gone! Everything must go at Crazy Maggie’s Once-A-Year Monroe County Fire Sale!! She’s INSANE!!!!

The Democrat and Chronicle’s editorial board has decided to take up the issue of the latest round of one-off sales that the County Republicans insist will balance the budget. They council caution when choosing prospective buyers, even as one bidder offers 23 million dollars to the County for the Mill Seat Landfill electricity production. At the risk of asking the impossible, I can’t help noticing the disparity here:

No more one-shots || Democrat & Chronicle: Editorials

In efforts to close out the year on a positive fiscal note, Monroe County is exploring one-time revenue options that demand careful examination. The last thing the county needs is to make a decision that it will regret later. After all, while the county could bridge its budget gap of more than $20 million by exercising the options it outlined more than a year ago, there looms the prospect of losing lucrative long-term financial benefits. . . . Here’s where the county must do due diligence. . .

No, no. Let me get this one! The reason they must do due dilligence is because they chose not to when they ganked your kid’s lunch money. I know I should expect no better, but let me ask anyway: why does the D&C insist on ignoring the fact that the F.A.I.R. plan promised to balance the budget, and now we still find ourselves in debt?  Can no one at the D&C do us at least the small favour of asking County Republican why there is this seeming contradiction?

I mean, you could at least ask a softball question and let them give a half-assed answer.  I’d personally appreciate at least the appearance of adequate reporting.

Masturbation, Tom Reynolds, HSBC and IDA

Wow, what a title! Sounds like someone needs to go get the spare towels!

But in fact, all those above concepts do belong to one story, and that is the Niagara County HSBC call-center dillio I discussed yesterday. It seems that, as always, there are even more details to be found within the HSBC deal, things look like a raw deal, and whaddaya know? There’s an IDA involved:

KUCHARSKI, FERRARO, GOP SHAMELESS || Niagara Falls Reporter ANALYSIS

Two days after a news conference that featured Reynolds, on a stage filled with children, expounding on topics like sexual predation and masturbation while essentially blaming his congressional bosses for not taking action sooner against Foley, his fellow Republicans gathered at the offices of the Amherst IDA to announce the HSBC proposal.

So while Republicans rallied around Tom Reynolds at the hight of the Foley scandal, it seems others were trying to make the embattled Congressman look better with yet another tax sop IDA deal.

How wonderful.

The Visible Hand of the Marketplace

It’s been a remarkably busy day today, what with the holidays coming up, and all. One thing’s for certain: you will never find yourself with a lack of work as a web designer for a consumer product corporation around the holidays!

But I wanted to speak briefly about a particular theme of Republican and Conservative politics that deserves some exploration. This is also in relation to the theme of “Government as a Public Square” that I’ve been meaning to return to and haven’t.

Continue reading The Visible Hand of the Marketplace